Residual metastatic axillary lymph nodes following neoadjuvant chemotherapy predict disease-free survival in patients with locally advanced breast cancer
Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols
Lymph Node Excision
Clinical response and residual metastatic axillary lymph nodes following neoadjuvant chemotherapy are important predictors of DFS. Patients with a clinically positive axilla following neoadjuvant chemotherapy should undergo axillary dissection to ensure local control. However, the benefit of axillary dissection in patients with a clinically negative axilla may be minimal if the axilla will be irradiated, and histologic staging does not affect subsequent systemic treatment. A prospective randomized trial of axillary dissection versus axillary radiotherapy in patients with a clinically negative axilla following neoadjuvant chemotherapy is presently under way to evaluate this hypothesis.